February 10th, 2005

(no subject)

In a friends-locked post recently, one of my friends discussed how people don't actually read what you write, but instead construct a virtual text from your title, a few fragments, and their own preconceptions.

A few minutes ago I realized something analogous happens when people don't hear what you say. It's all the worse when what you say isn't a very accurate reflection of the thoughts inside your head. And worse still when your primary focus is being witty, not transferring information.

I care very deeply about her. However, I find it very difficult to articulate that feeling to others. Not to her, fortunately, and that's reassuring. But it never comes out right when I try to explain it to anyone else.

Unrelated to that I had a (rather constructive and informative) rant building but it would have been better if I had had it about 48 hours ago so I could have presented it in a meeting. Perhaps it's more of a disquisition than a rant.
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(no subject)

ishaa posted about http://maps.google.com/:

"Incredibly obvious (if not easy) things that they got right:
  • Don't make me type address, city, state, and zip in different fields!
    • I'm probably copying and pasting from another page
    • And how hard is it to parse a comma anyway?
  • Make bigger roads look bigger on the map
  • Pick colors that aren't hideous
  • In the list of directions, set off the part that takes you most of the time

And you can actually drag around the view of the map instead of clicking on buttons to go north, east, south, or west. The squares of the image load themselves in a separate thread.

"I thought Google Suggest was impressive JavaScript programming -- this is genius."

He has some updates which I cut for space, but go check his posting.

Back to work.

I haven't posted a restaurant listing in over a month, and I have a pile of listings in the backlog. Time to be productive again.
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Shashlik Restaurant

Many years ago, julianyap took me to a steak place in the Far East Shopping Centre on Orchard Road. I never got around to writing it up, but then he and a couple of the crowd who happened to be in town (which may have included monkeygod) and TC, decided we wanted to go back for old time's sake, so this time I'm actually writing it up.

Shashlik Restaurant Pte. Ltd.
545 Orchard Road #06-19
Far East Shopping Centre
Singapore, 238882
tel: 6732-6401
(last visit August 2003)
MRT: NS22 Orchard

Shashlik is an old-fashioned sizzling steak place in the style of the Coliseum Cafe in Kuala Lumpur, but with a Russian flavor, like that of the long-lost and lamented Cherikoff's in Hong Kong. That is, like the M, it does a Chinese take on steak, which means it comes sizzling on a hot iron, but it also has some Russian dishes, somewhat adapted to local taste.

I had borshch (S$14, US$8) to start, while someone else got the meat soup (S$6, US$3.40). I remember nothing about the meat soup but the borshch was pretty traditional: a reasonably generous bowl of beet and onion soup with a dollop of sour cream floating on top.

For our mains we got the lamb (S$18.50, US$10.50) and the beef (S$24, US$13.60). Both came sizzling on those big iron plates. The meat itself is of middling quality, but nonetheless tasty because of the marinade. Flavorful if not subtle.

Prices do not include 10% service and 4% GST.

Brazil Churrascaria

A churrascaria in Singapore? As carnivores, we really had to go.

Brazil Churrascaria
14/16 Sixth Avenue
Singapore, 276476
tel: 6463.1923
fax: 6463.1927
email: brchuras@singnet.com.sg
daily: 1830-2230
Catering available.
(last visited August 2003)

The first time we visited Brazil Churrascaria, julianyap explained its existence by explaining that the Singaporean owners came back from a visit to Brazil so pleased with the churrascaria rodizio idea that they decided to open one in Singapore. So far as I know it's the only one.

This most recent visit was with TC. He lives a short drive up the road, and was looking for an excuse to visit it, which my visit to Singapore provided.

The full rodizio experience is S$57 (US$32.40), plus 10% service, 1% CESS, and 4% GST. Really, I've never ordered anything else here, and I'm not sure what else there is to order here. Oh, we did have guaraná (S$5.50, US$3.10), which came decorated like a tropical cocktail. It was still just normal guaraná out of a bottle, but I imagine it came shipped in from Brazil.

The meat is quite good, and comes in the traditional manner, on long skewer/swords brought to your table by the waitstaff. How good? Definitely not as good as the best I had in Rio, but better than the usual run in Boston (e.g., Midwest Grill), and pretty good compared to the middle level of churrascaria rodizio places in Brazil.

Not bad, particularly considering that it's probably the only Brazilian churrascaria rodizio place within a five hour flight.

Information Computer School

This is my first listing for an internet provider. I stumbled across it visiting the department store/supermarket on the other side of the street.

Information Computer School
#18, Street 214 (Boeng Raing)
Khan Duan Penh
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
tel 023.724062/722665
email: lcs@camnet.com.kh

In general, retail internet connectivity in Cambodia sucks. Internet cafes are everywhere but they are painfully slow to connect to any site outside the country and many of those within.

(This is in stark contrast to a place like Mozambique, where connectivity was surprisingly good; so good, in fact, that I mentioned it on IRC and rmd, among others, checked ping times to my address. We theorized that it was late enough at night (and the country was so poor) that I might have been the only person using the available pipe out of Maputo.)

Most of the cafes in Cambodia cater to foreigners. Many of these foreigners are cursing a lot as they wait for pages to load. And wait. And wait.

Information Computer School is a refreshing exception. It probably helps that ICS is run by people who actually know something about computing, as opposed to a bunch of guys who threw a LAN together to make some money. The folks at ICS seem to be able to get real connectivity.

For this you pay slightly more than everyone else. Say, about $2 an hour instead of $1. Functionally, though, you probably save money because you're not waiting for your data to be sucked through a wet shoelace.

Also, because they appear to have some IT clue, their hardware is newer and better kept, and they have working air conditioning. (How most of the other places keep their computers running in the tropical heat is beyond me.)

The disadvantage of ICS is that they actually do this as a sideline to their computer school. If they're teaching classes, I imagine the students take priority. Also, they keep regular working hours, unlike the cafes, which are open late into the evening.

Questions Frequently Asked About TiVo, Answered by Someone Who Loves TiVo Too Much

From ishaa, who supplies me with any number of amusing or useful links:

Questions Frequently Asked About TiVo, Answered by Someone Who Loves TiVo Too Much

Q: Will TiVo change my life?

A: No, TiVo will not change your life so much as He will destroy your previous life, permitting a new and improved life to rise, phoenix-like, from your ashes. Switching from cable television to satellite is “change.” Moving to TiVo is closer to rebirth.

Q: Is TiVo expensive?

A: This question makes no sense. In a future world, where mankind has destroyed its remaining clean air and drinking water and such necessities require payment, will you be asking how much it costs to draw breath? I didn’t think so.
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